Try a New Recipe: Rice Noodles with Chicken and Shiitake Mushrooms


It was one of those nights. After 5:00pm, and no one had any plans for dinner. My husband pulled a box of rice noodles (Annie Chun’s) out of the pantry. The box had two recipes on the back: Restaurant-Style Pad Thai or Rice Noodles with Chicken and Shiitake Mushrooms. We happened to have almost everything we needed for the Rice Noodles, except bean sprouts, which we decided we could live without. We had some dried shiitake mushrooms that we rehydrated. Surely you could use a different brand of rice noodles! šŸ˜‰

This is a pretty quick recipe, fairly easy to put together and everyone loved it! It’s not very photogenic, but it sure tastes good. Enjoy!

Rice Noodles with Chicken and Shiitake Mushrooms
Serves about 4

2 tablespoons oil
1/2 medium sized onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces chicken breast, sliced
8-10 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 package Annie Chun’s Pad Thai Rice Noodles (cooked, drained and rinsed as directed)
1 cup bean sprouts

Sauce:
3 tablespoons fish sauce
4 tablespoons chicken stock (low sodium)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon light soy sauce or oyster sauce (I used tamari, it’s all I had)

Garnish:
2 scallions, sliced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
4 lime wedges

Heat oil in a wok or pan over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic to pan and cook until golden. Add chicken and stir fry until meat is cooked, then add mushrooms. Remove from heat and stir fry for 1-2 minutes more.

Combine all ingredients for sauce. Add sauce, noodles, and bean sprouts to cooked chicken and mix well. If noodles stick to pan (ours didn’t), add a few tablespoons of chicken stock or water as needed. Garnish with scallion, cilantro, and lime wedges.

Don’t forget to visit me at The Bad Girl’s Kitchen for more fabulous recipes!
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CINNAMON STUFFED FRENCH TOAST – TRY A NEW RECIPE!

How often do you try new recipes? I try them a lot, if you hadn’t already guessed! If you could use a little “push” to try new recipes, want to experiment with new ingredients, or just want to spice up your blog with a little fun, then my friend’s monthly food blog event, Taste & Create, may be for you!
If you haven’t heard of Taste & Create, let me tell you about it! I participate every month, and even run the event when my friend Nicole needs help. Participants are randomly paired up, and tasked with creating a recipe from their partner’s blog, and then blogging about it! It really is a lot of fun, and with international participants, you never know with whom you’ll be paired up! I’ve had partners from India, Kuwait, the U.S., Canada and beyond! I’ve also made some good blog friends and broadened my family’s horizons with different recipes.
In June, my T&C partner was Chaya, who you may know from right here at OKK! Chaya has a few different blogs, including Bizzy B. Bakes, and has even contributed some recipes at my blog, The Bad Girl’s Kitchen!
When I discovered Chaya’s Stuffed French Toast recipe, I had to try it! It sounds delightfully simple, filled with cinnamon cream cheese. And delicious too!


YUM!!

I used different measurements of some ingredients than Chaya, both to serve my family of 4 and to better suit our tastes. You can see my Cinnamon Stuffed French Toast recipe here, and Chaya’s Cinnamon Stuffed French Toast recipe to serve 2 here.

Think of it as Dueling Stuffed French Toasts!
But not really, because Chaya and I are blog buddies. =)


And please consider joining us over at Taste & Create! It is a great experience, and you’ll have fun in the process, and be encouraged to try new recipes! For more information, go see How it Works. Don’t forget that the signup each month is on the 8th! Hope to see you there!

Please visit me at The Bad Girl’s Kitchen for more fabulous recipes!
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Try a New Recipe Day: Carnation Famous Fudge

Everyone loves fudge, right? If you’d like to get a head start on Valentine’s Day, plan to make this classic, delicious, creamy and very simple fudge. It sets up beautifully, and is not too soft–it ages to crunchy yet melt-in-your-mouth perfection.

You can substitute butterscotch, milk chocolate, peanut butter, or mint chips. Several years ago I bought a Carnation fudge “kit” at Costco, complete with all the necessary ingredients and little paper fudge pans for gift-giving. If you don’t want to buy a kit somewhere, or would rather make a whole bunch, you can just use this recipe.
The recipe exists in myriad incarnations all over the internet, but this is from the official Carnation/Nestle Brand website. (that explains the brand-name dropping below that I usually try to avoid)
Note: it is essential to measure out all of your ingredients ahead of time, because you will be standing at the stove top stirring the whole time. I put the marshmallows, chocolate chips, nuts and vanilla into a bowl so I could just dump it all in together when it was time.

{picture in the morning when we slice it up!}

Don’t forget to visit me at The Bad Girl’s Kitchen for more fabulous recipes!

Carnation Famous Fudge

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 48 pieces
Cook Time: 5 minutes

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup (5 fl.-oz. can) NESTLƉĀ® CARNATIONĀ® Evaporated Milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1 1/2 cups (9 oz.) NESTLƉĀ® TOLL HOUSEĀ® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


LINE 8-inch-square baking pan with foil.

COMBINE sugar, evaporated milk, butter and salt in medium, heavy-duty saucepan. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

STIR in marshmallows, morsels, nuts and vanilla extract. Stir vigorously for 1 minute or until marshmallows are melted. Pour into prepared baking pan; refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. Lift from pan; remove foil. Cut into 48 pieces.

FOR MILK CHOCOLATE FUDGE:
SUBSTITUTE
1 3/4 cups (11.5-oz. pkg.) NESTLEĀ® TOLL HOUSEĀ® Milk Chocolate Morsels for Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels.

FOR BUTTERSCOTCH FUDGE:
SUBSTITUTE
1 2/3 cups (11-oz. pkg.) NESTLEĀ® TOLL HOUSEĀ® Butterscotch Flavored Morsels for Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels.


FOR PEANUTTY CHOCOLATE FUDGE:
SUBSTITUTE
1 2/3 cups (11-oz. pkg.) NESTLEĀ® TOLL HOUSEĀ® Peanut Butter & Milk Chocolate Morsels for Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels and 1/2 cup chopped peanuts for pecans or walnuts.

FOR MINT CHOCOLATE FUDGE:
SUBSTITUTE 1 1/2 cups mint-chocolate chips for semisweet chips.


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Try a New Recipe: Roasted Chicken with Cauliflower and Chickpeas


If you follow me on The Bad Girl’s Kitchen, you may remember that I made this dinner earlier in April. What you don’t know is that a couple weeks later, I made it again! Not only was I wanting to have this scrumptious dinner AGAIN, but my oldest boy said “YES!!!” when I suggested the possibility. Try it yourself, you will see why we Simply Had To Have It.


This recipe comes from the latest issue of Everyday Food magazine. It sounded great, and easy, so when I found out my father-in-law and his friend were coming to stay with us for the night, I decided to make this for dinner.

I doubled the recipe, using two whole chickens. I was able to fit it all on the sheet pans I have, except for one chicken wing I ended up throwing out. Transferring the chicken to another pan and tossing the vegetables on the first one may sound (and feel) awkward at first, but trust me, it is worth it and not much trouble! And actually it was quite a simple recipe.

I put part of the vegetables with the chicken for serving, and the rest on their own platter. Everyone loved the chicken, and the roasted vegetables were a savory, delicious touch. I had prepared a salad, but I didn’t eat any because I was so wrapped up in the chicken and roasted vegetables. The cauliflower was tender-crisp and nutty, the onions were just sweetened and soft, the garbanzo beans were a nice contrast, and the tomatoes were colorful little bursts of flavor! The meal received many compliments, even into the next day!

We ate the leftovers last night. Although the cauliflower was amazing cold, I warmed it all up on a sheet pan for dinner. Delicious yet again, and the chicken was even crispier. I am definitely making this fabulous meal when my parents come to visit!



Roasted Chicken with Cauliflower and Chickpeas

Serves 4
Active time: 10 minutes
Total time: 1 hour

Roasting the chicken on a preheated pan saves time and helps the meat brown. You don’t need to add oil to the vegetables; they cook in drippings from the chicken.

1 whole chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds), rinsed, patted dry and cut into 9 pieces (I bought a pre-cut chicken and rinsed and dried it)
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
1 small head cauliflower, cored and cut into 2-inch florets
1 large red onion, cut into wedges
1 can (15.5 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Place a rimmed baking sheet in oven and preheat to 450 degrees F, with racks in upper and middle thirds. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Carefully remove sheet from oven and arrange chicken, skin side up, in a single layer. Roast on upper rack, 20 minutes.

Remove chicken from oven and, with tongs, transfer to another rimmed baking sheet along with tomatoes. Add cauliflower, onion and chickpeas to drippings on first sheet and toss to combine; season with salt and pepper. Roast chicken on upper rack and vegetables on middle rack until chicken is golden and cooked through and cauliflower is tender when pierced with a knife, about 30 minutes. Transfer chicken and vegetables to a serving dish and serve immediately.

Don’t forget to visit me at The Bad Girl’s Kitchen for more fabulous recipes!
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PECAN SANDIES: TRY A NEW RECIPE

Just when I really wanted to bake something but couldn’t decide what, I opened a copy of Everyday Food magazine and there it was: a recipe for homemade Pecan Sandies!! I love those delightful, subtle little cookies, but find it hard to justify the almost $5.00 price tag on the packages at our little grocery store.
The picture shows coarsely chopped pecans, but I finely chopped mine to more closely approximate those shortbread morsels by Keebler.
These cookies may not be exactly like the ones I love from the store, there is just something missing that I can’t quite pinpoint, but they are delicious all the same. (I have to store them out of reach of little boys so I can guarantee they will be fairly and equally distributed!)


Pecan Sandies
Makes 18
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes + cooling

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 cup pecans, finely chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with racks in upper and lower thirds.Ā 
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy; beat in vanilla and salt. With mixer on low, gradually add flour, beating just until combined. Fold in pecans.
  3. Roll dough into 1 1/2-inch balls; and place on two baking sheets, 2 inches apart. With the dampened bottom of a glass, lightly flatten each ball.
  4. Bake until cookies are golden brown, 15 to 17 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through.Ā 
  5. Transfer to wire racks, and let cool. (To store, keep in an airtight container, up to 5 days).

Don’t forget to visit me at The Bad Girl’s Kitchen for more fabulous recipes!

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Try a New Recipe: Greek Lamb with Spinach and Artichokes

This is a slow cooker recipe I pulled out of a Better Homes and Gardens magazine, I can’t remember which month/year. The recipe is a “Prize Tested Recipe” and is attributed to Marie Rizzio of Interlochen, MI (very close to my home town! imagine that).
This dish is excellent! It smells so good cooking all day long, and it is always wonderful to come home to dinner that is basically ready. I cooked mine for 8 hours, and it was perfect. I had a problem with the orzo~it’s too small to use any of my colanders. I strained it with the lid from the pot, which is always awkward. Oh well. It was a nice accompaniment. At the last minute, I forgot the feta cheese, but I suppose there is always next time, because there will definitely be a next time with this one. Yum!

Ā Greek Lamb with Spinach and Artichokes

Makes 6 servings

2 to 2 1/2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder roast
1 19-ounce can cannellini beans (white kidney beans), rinsed and drained
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon minced garlic (6 cloves)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
3 cups fresh baby spinach
3 cups hot cooked orzo (6 ounces uncooked)
Crumbled feta cheese (optional)

1. Trim fat from meat. Cut meat in 1-inch pieces. In a 3 1/2 or 4-quart slow cooker stir together meat, beans, undrained tomatoes, garlic, salt, and oregano.

2. Cover and cook on low heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high heat setting for 4 to 5 hours. Stir in drained artichoke hearts and spinach.

3. To serve, spoon lamb mixture over hot cooked orzo. Sprinkle with feta cheese.

Don’t forget to visit me at The Bad Girl’s Kitchen for more fabulous recipes!
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Try a New Recipe: Blue Cheese Dressing

If you’re a football fan, you are getting ready for Super Bowl XLV! And chances are, there will be some buffalo wings involved. What you need is an Excellent Recipe for Blue Cheese Dressing. Not only is it excellent, quite possibly the best blue cheese dressing you will ever taste, it’s super easy. Just mix it up at least 4 hours ahead, then watch it disappear!
We serve ours with celery and buffalo wings. If you’d rather not mess with wings, but still want to have some sort of buffalo chicken, check out Bobby Flay’s Buffalo Chicken Dip (another family favorite!)

Not just for game day, this should be your go-to dressing recipe for salads and more!

Blue Cheese Dressing
Ā½ cup sour cream
Ā½ cup mayonnaise
2 scallions, minced
2 ā€“ 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
Ā½ cup blue cheese, crumbled
Freshly ground black pepper

Combine sour cream, mayonnaise, scallions and lemon juice in a bowl and mix well. Stir in cheese, cover with plastic wrap, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Stir before serving.
_______________________________
FROM Saveur Cooks Authentic American

Don’t forget to visit me at The Bad Girl’s Kitchen for more fabulous recipes!
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Try a New Recipe: Creamy Baked Penne and Chicken with Artichokes, Tarragon and Lemon

Wow. The past year, which happened to be my 40th, was fabulous! So much happened…from a birthday month with 3 parties (including a girls-only weekend!) to a summer trip to Paris, and my very first gallery showing of my photographs! And so much more. What a great year, really.
Somehow I managed to keep posting here at Our Krazy Kitchen, almost every week! (even while traveling in France) It has been fun, and krazy, and I’ve gained some new friends.
But, I suppose change is inevitable. It’s not you, it’s me. I’m just tired! I’ll still be around (look for me again on the first Tuesday in February!), just not every week.
Of course you can still find me over at The Bad Girl’s Kitchen, and I do hope you’ll come visit.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This is a dish that I love. I’ve made it several times for various family and other functions. I love it because it’s delicious, you can make it ahead of time, AND you can freeze half of it for another meal. The casserole really is quite flavorful and bright, I love the texture of the shredded chicken and the fresh tarragon enhances everything.

Keep in mind, a double batch of this recipe is a LOT of food. Just so you know.

This is another one from The Best Make-Ahead Recipe, a cookbook from which every recipe I’ve tried has been a winner!


Creamy Baked Penne and Chicken with Artichokes, Tarragon and Lemon
If you can’t find frozen artichokes, you can substitute3 (14-ounce) cans artichoke hearts; you will need to drain, rinse and pat them dry thoroughly before using. Shredded Italian cheese blend is a mix of 4 to 5 cheeses, often including mozzarella, provolone, Parmesan, fontina, and Asiago.

Salt
1 pound penne
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 (9-ounce) boxes frozen artichokes, thawed, patted dry and chopped coarse (or see note above)
1 medium onion, minced
8 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 8 teaspoons)
1/4 teaspoon grated zest from 1 lemon
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup heavy cream
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 5 breasts), trimmed
3 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
8 ounces shredded Italian cheese blend (about 2 cups)
3 tablespoons juice from 2 lemons
Ground black pepper
3 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon leaves (for serving)

1. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a Dutch oven over high heat. Stir in tablespoon salt and the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Drain the pasta through a colander and toss with 1 tablespoon of the oil; leave in the colander and set aside.

2. Wipe the pot dry, then add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil, and set it over medium heat until shimmering. Add the artichokes, onion, and 1 teaspoon salt and cook until the artichokes are lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes.

3. Stir in the garlic and lemon zest and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the broth, wine and cream.

4. Add the chicken breasts and bay leaves, partially cover, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover completely, and cook until the thickest part of the chicken registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 10 to 15 minutes.*

*Every time I cook chicken using this method, it takes a lot longer for the chicken to cook–usually around 25 minutes or so. I’m not sure if this is due to altitude or what. Just be sure to use a thermometer to ensure that your chicken registers 160 degrees.

5. Remove the pot from the heat and discard the bay leaves. Remove the chicken and set aside to cool; keep the sauce covered. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it into bite-sized pieces. Stir the shredded chicken back into the sauce with the cooked pasta, peas, 1 cup of the cheese, and lemon juice; stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a 13 by 9-inch baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining cup cheese.

6. To Store: Wrap the dish tightly with plastic wrap and then foil and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month. (If frozen, the casserole must be thawed completely in the refrigerator, about 24 hours).

7. To Serve: Thaw completely in refrigerator, about 24 hours. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Unwrap the dish and cover tightly with aluminum foil that has been sprayed with vegetable oil spray (or use nonstick foil). Bake until the sauce is bubbling around the edges, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until hot throughout and browned on top, 25 to 30 minutes longer. Sprinkle with the tarragon before serving.

To Serve Right Away:
Bake the casserole in a 400-degree oven, uncovered, until the sauce is bubbling and the top is browned, 25 to 35 minutes. Sprinkle with the tarragon before serving.

Don’t forget to visit me at The Bad Girl’s Kitchen for more fabulous recipes!
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Try a New Recipe: Caesar Salad for Two…or More!

I know I’m posting a few salad recipes recently, but let’s be honest, we all need something to balance out the Christmas cookies. I know I’m not alone in this, even if no one else will admit it!!
I originally found this recipe in the pages of Everyday Food magazine. Caesar salad is one of our favorites, and this is a delicious recipe for dressing.
Be careful not to use too much garlic, and if you’re doubling the recipe (like I do for our family of four), just use a whole tin (2 ounces) of anchovies. I make croutons out of a couple slices of Artisan Bread (how did you guess?)
(I used a vegetable peeler to shave the Parm, in case you’re wondering)Ā 

Note: the original recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon of SALT to be added to the anchovies. I’m sure they were kidding…anchovies are plenty salty. I have left if out of the recipe below.

Caesar Salad for Two
Serves 2
Active time: 15 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes

NOTE: If doubling this recipe, you can use a blender to make the dressing.

2 thick slices rustic white bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
2 anchovy fillets, minced
1 large egg yolk or 1 tablespoon pasteurized egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 small head romaine lettuce, cored, outer leaves discarded, and heart cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan (there’s no way I’m measuring the cheese!)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss bread with 1 tablespoon oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Let croutons cool completely.
On a cutting board, combine garlic, and anchovies. Using a large knife, drag the blade at an angle across the mixture until a paste forms. Transfer to a large bowl and whisk in egg yolk, mustard and lemon juice. Gradually whisk in 3 tablespoons oil. Season with pepper. Just before serving, add croutons and lettuce to dressing and toss; top with Parmesan.
Don’t forget to visit me at The Bad Girl’s Kitchen for more fabulous recipes!
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Try a New Recipe: Homemade Boursin

This is one of my favorite recipes, and it’s quick and easy. I fell in love with Boursin cheese when I worked at a hotel on a small island. Boursin was in the gift baskets some guests received, but they often didn’t know what it was, so it went unopened. From there, it came home with me! My boyfriend at the time and I would take it down to the beach with a bottle of wine and some crackers, and that was dinner. Sooooo delicious.
Now that I live in a different middle of nowhere, real Boursin is hard to come by (they don’t sell it in town) and if I go somewhere else where they have it, it is usually outrageously expensive. So we don’t have it very often. I was happy to find this recipe, and to discover that while it isn’t exactly like Boursin, it is a close approximation, and significantly cheaper to serve.
If you don’t know what Boursin is, try this cheese anyway. While it is certainly not Boursin, if you’re not familiar with Boursin you wouldn’t know that. And the spices do a fine imitation…it is a perfectly acceptable imposter. This cheese is good!
I usually make a double batch. I love that you have to make this ahead; then you can pull it out of the refrigerator when you’re ready! *I like to remove it from the refrigerator about an hour ahead, so it has time to come to almost room temperature.


The recipe comes from a little pamphlet-type cookbook called Easy & Elegant Hors d’Oeuvres.

Note that this has to be made 12 to 24 hours in advance.

Homemade Boursin Cheese
Yield: 1 cup

8 ounces plain whipped cream cheese or soft cream cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chopped chives
pinch dried marjoram, crushed (I put the marjoram and thyme in my mortar and pestle to finely crush them)
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper

In large bowl, beat cream cheese. Add other ingredients, and beat until well blended. Refrigerate 12-24 hours. Serve on crackers. (also good on celery, etc!)

Don’t forget to visit me at The Bad Girl’s Kitchen for more fabulous recipes!
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